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OTTAWA — David Anderson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, today emphasized the tremendous importance of responsible energy development to Canada’s economic growth.
Mr. Anderson, speaking at the 2012 Forum on Hydropower sponsored by the Canadian Hydropower Association, underscored that the ongoing growth and success of Canada’s hydropower industry are essential both to meeting Canada’s economic and environmental goals and to the Government of Canada’s objective of creating jobs, growth and prosperity for all Canadians.
Hydropower generates 60 percent of Canada’s non-emitting electricity supply, making our electricity sources among the cleanest and most reliable in the world. Canada is the world’s third-largest producer of hydroelectricity. The hydropower industry, including major construction projects, generates high-quality jobs for tens of thousands of Canadians across the country.
“The opportunities for the expansion of this vital sector of our economy are vast, and they continue to grow,” said Mr. Anderson. “However, major energy projects, including hydro projects, are currently subject to long and unpredictable delays because of a needlessly complex and duplicative regulatory process. This is why our Government has introduced the plan for Responsible Resource Development.”
Responsible Resource Development, is an important part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012, and will help ensure that all Canadians benefit from the responsible development of our great natural resource wealth.
The plan focuses on improving four areas: making reviews for major resource projects more predictable and timely; reducing duplication of project reviews; strengthening environmental protection; and enhancing consultations with Aboriginal peoples.
The Canadian Hydropower Association has also made it clear that reform is needed for the hydropower industry to continue to develop and prosper.
“The electricity sector requires regulatory efficiency and predictability. Unfortunately, the current federal environmental assessment regime causes considerable duplication, delays and uncertainty,” said Ed Wojczynski, Chair, Canadian Hydropower Association. “These problems jeopardize Canada’s capacity to modernize and expand its electricity infrastructure.”
Mr. Anderson emphasized that a regulatory system that is efficient as well as effective will help bolster Canada’s long-term economic strengths and promote job growth while attracting investment and encouraging national competitiveness.
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